Opposition parties staged a walkout from Tunisia's assembly yesterday to protest the extradition to Libya of Moammar Gaddafi's last prime minister.
The fierce debate in parliament, which culminated in an opposition walkout and defiant singing of the national anthem, is the latest repercussion over the extradition of Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi, which has caused deep divisions in the North African country's government.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali implemented the decision of the courts and ordered Al-Mahmoudi to be sent back to Libya where the government that replaced the late Gaddafi's wants to try him for a variety of crimes.
President Moncef Marzouki, a former human-rights activist, however, had opposed the extradition on the ground that the former Libyan official risked torture or death.
Jebali's overruling of the president's objections threw into sharp relief the greater power of the prime minister and his moderate Islamist party Ennahda, which won the most seats in October's elections.
Marzouki comes from one of two smaller allied secular parties.